Committee drives ideas for former Ford site

November 5, 2012 by  

Ever since Ford Motors closed its assembly plant in St. Paul, the 135-acre parcel of land has sat vacant. Now, a group calling itself The Ford Site Planning Task Force is attempting to have the site rezoned and revitalized.

The committee met with consultants on October 29 to discuss other successful brownfield developments similar to the former Ford plant site and is in discussion with the City to discuss zoning and land use. The riverfront site is currently zoned industrial but could become a mixed use area, with residential, business, and green areas. The task force has identified space for up to 1,400 residential units on the site. As this project is in the early planning stages, it could potentially be a nice project for St. Paul printing companies, with large format capabilities to print blueprints.

The site, which was occupied by Ford for the past 80 years, is still owned by the company but will be on the market once the plant is demolished and the land is remediated, making it environmentally ready for building.

William Klein, who is co-chairman of the special Ford Site committee, said:

“We want to be in a position so that when we’re ready to move we don’t have to learn all of these things on the fly. We want to have the knowledge banked away.”

While ideas have been flying around the table and many proposals considered, the committee acknowledges that the economy must recover sufficiently before interest from real estate developers and private enterprise begins.

Demolition is not slated to begin until Spring 2013.